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ScaleUp Porto - The Growth Champions

ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions is a pioneering program in Portugal run by the City of Porto, via its ScaleUp Porto. strategy, in partnership with ANJE – Portuguese Association of Young Entrepreneurs. The first scaleup program in Portugal tackles the growth challenges that scaleups face when they are expanding globally: access to market, capital and talent.  The ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions serves two different segments: Industry 4.0 and Venture-Backed Scaleups. The workshops were designed by senior leaders who have been scaling up before in their own companies in order to support the scaleup teams of the badge across five different functions: Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and People.

2 Facts about The Growth Champions

  1. Represent 0,3% of all the businesses operating in Portugal;
  2. Responsible for creating 10,5% of the jobs in the country;

Target & Criteria

The ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions program was designed to support two groups of companies operating in the market:

1- The Venture-Backed Scaleups segment is defined by 2 characteristics:

  • Companies with more than 1M€ collected in funding;
  • OR Business revenues above the 500K€.

2- The High Growth SME group present 3 specific metrics:

  • Growth rate over 20% in the past 3 years;
  • Annual revenues between 5 and 50 M€;
  • Level of exports equal or superior to 15% of the turnover.


#0 – June 21st & 22nd, 2017 | The Scaleup Process

With Verne Harnish

The kick-off of the “ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions” brought to Portugal Verne Harnish, owner of Gazelles Inc. and author of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” and “Scaling Up”. The guest speaker is also known as “The Growth Guy” and takes the stage to coordinate an 18 hours program focused on the scaleup process. People, execution, strategy and cash are the main topics in reflection during the two journeys that assemble 20 Portuguese scaleups conquering the world.


#1 – October 18th, 2017 | Marketing

With Omar Mohout & Elif Semerci 

Unleashing the power of princing as a process and to design the customer experience journey are the main challenges of the 2nd module of the program “ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions”. Focused on the Marketing function, the initiative will help the companies attending the program developing the proper strategies to scaleup globally, by studying themes like “The economy of pricing”, “11 different methods to set pricing”, “Multi-axis pricing”, “Freemium Empirical rules”. The Marketing module combines a workshop with peer to peer dynamics and one-to-one meetings. Omar Mohout (Entrepreneurship Fellow at Sirris and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Antwerp Management School) and Elif Semerci (Customer Experience Project Manager at Delivery Hero) are the guest speakers coordinating the learning process.


#2 – November 21st, 2017 | Sales

With Philippe SzombatPascal PytelVictor Charlier

The 3rd session of the “ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions” program is focused on the Sales Process. Victor Charlier (former managing partner of the unicorn Auto1), Philippe Szombat and Pascal Pytel (co-founders at BrightBiz) are coming to Portugal with a clear mission: help the growth champions establishing and improving sales culture, revenues, margins and cash flows. While growing, companies usually stop focusing on the client and the three speakers will share the formulas to keep sales growing, involving the customers and delivering value.


#3 – January 30th, 2018 | People

With Erik Juhl

The 4th chapter opens the 2018 agenda with an intense session dedicated to the PEOPLE topic. Erik Juhl (VP of People at and former VP of Talent Acquisition at Criteo, Engineer Recruiting at LinkedIn and Platforms Engineering Recruiting Team at Google) comes to Porto, to help our “Growth Champions” building teams with the proper mindset and skills for the scaleup process.


#4 – February 2018 | Operation and Execution

With Pieter Van Osch & Neale Lewis

It’s all about operation and execution on the 5th chapter of ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions. On stage, we will have 2 speakers with deep knowledge on the tech and industry segments. Pieter Van Osch (founder at ScaleUp Company) and Neale Lewis (former Managing Director at Derby Business TV) will explain how to establish priorities, use the data generated by businesses and discuss it in meetings and reflection moments that provide more chances to the CEO to come up with better and faster decisions.

#5 – March 2018 | Finance

With Chris Wade and Joe Schorge

For the final chapter of the ScaleUp Porto – The Growth Champions we reserved a session dedicated to the good practices of fundraising and the options available to fund the CEO growth plans. Leading the session, we had two experts raising venture capital and dealing with private equity.

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